On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, WYA HQ Interns together with Outgoing Regional Director for North America Pauline Go, made their way to the Ronald McDonald House just a few blocks from the WYA Headquarters to volunteer.
The Ronald McDonald House gives temporary housing to families of young patients undergoing pediatric cancer care in New York City Hospitals. The house is located in close proximity to 13 major cancer treatment centers. They house families who come from different parts of the world and walks of life. We learned during the trip that there are now more than 300 RM Houses around the world. However, each of the houses conduct their own fundraising activities to maintain the upkeep of their house and the activities they hold for the kids. Like any other non-profit in the city of New York, generous donations help create new facilities for the kids that stay in the House.
Here are some snippets from our staff and interns:
“While working in the kitchen, we saw a few families sharing a meal together and it was moving to see those few moments of joy for people who are going through a difficult time in their life. We shouldn’t take for granted the small beautiful moments we share with the people we love.” – Pauline
“I realized how easy it was for us to help at the house, for the benefit of kids and their families who need all the support they can get.” – Briac
“The house, despite its 80 rooms was perfectly ordered and clean, same with the kitchen. These achievements are only possible with the collaboration of all the families and staff working in the establishment.” – Cecile
“It’s funny how you can learn anything anywhere as along as you are willing to listen and look. I was glad to share this experience with my colleagues. It’s part of what we do in promoting human dignity, this was just another aspect of it.” – Patricia
After a quick tour of the building, we got busy and were immediately divided into different groups to finish tasks that would contribute more or less to the upkeep of the building. It was our small way of supporting the 50-man staff that maintain the 12-storey building for approximately 80 families. Our tasks included: kitchen duty, floor clean-up and book sorting. WYA staff also learned of the many different volunteer opportunities at RMH while we were there. It was a fruitful experience and we look forward to many more volunteering opportunities soon.